Rudy Dewclaw

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Rudy Dewclaw is one of the main characters in Bill Holbrook’s online comic strip Kevin and Kell. He is Kell Dewclaw's son from her first marriage with Randy Foxglove, and is Kevin Dewclaw's stepson, Lindesfarne Dewclaw's stepbrother, and Coney Dewclaw's half-brother.


Rudy Dewclaw is one of the more complex main characters in Kevin and Kell. He possesses some negative traits, such as a lack of maturity, impulsiveness, irritable, a somewhat self-centered personality and desire for money, and little respect for interspecies relationships or herbivores. However, he is also very creative, loyal to his family and friends and often helpful. During the passage of time, he has matured, and has become less rash and self-centered.

He is domesticated, which causes predators to be more trusting and trustworthy. Despite not having any negative consequences come as a direct result of being domesticated, and few besides his friends and family knowing about it, Rudy is quite upset at learning that he is domesticated, but has accepted his condition to some degree, given that he no longer expresses a desire to be rid of it. He is also "dystraxic," and has difficulty following tracks left by prey species. Interestingly, this condition has forced him to create strategies for when he hunts, and this new skill led him to become co-captain of the Caliban hunting team, alongside Fiona.


Less is known about Rudy’s early life than the other members of his family. At one and a half years of age, Rudy met his lifelong friend Bruno in the sandbox of a playground (ironically, the site of a fight between the two thirteen years later). He also met Fiona Fennec, but the two intensely disliked each other and did not get along well; he stole one of her bones and currently wears it around his neck. However, they forgot their fights when they met thirteen years later.

Rudy especially admired his father when he was young, and briefly wanted to be classified as a half-fox to recognize his father. He thus reflexively lashed out against Lindesfarne’s statement that he and his nemesis Vin Vulpen shared a father, as he refused to believe that his father had committed infidelity until Kell calmly revealed her previous suspicions. Rudy no longer considers Randy a "moral, ethical male role model."

Rudy had difficulty accepting Kevin as a stepfather, as he did not want an herbivore as the head of his family. He thus neglected to send the marriage documents for his stepfather and mother’s marriage, causing them to not be legally married. Unlike his uncle Ralph, however, most of Rudy’s opposition to Kevin was in the form of challenging his "pack status"; Kevin, in marrying Kell, had become Rudy’s "alpha male," a pack leader he instinctively obeyed. Rudy also often helps Kevin; when the insurance company cancels Kevin’s policy for living with Kell and Rudy, Rudy insists that he would never eat Kevin, and later makes an anonymous phone call to expose himself and Kell as domesticated, renewing Kevin’s policy. Rudy stopped challenging Kevin's status as Alpha male since Kevin saved him from cultists from the Wild (possibly out of respect and gratitude), except for when the family entered a heated argument during a counseling session. While he has come to accept Kevin as a father figure, it is not equal to how Lindesfarne has accepted Kell; while he asks Kevin to give him driving lessons, he does so in the belief that Kevin will teach him to drive with fewer limitations on how fast he can go.

Rudy also initially has a rivalry with his stepsister Lindesfarne, such as when they establish their own websites and try to get the most hits. However, they have developed a more stable sibling relationship; Lindesfarne initially is reluctant to "harm" Rudy by piercing his ear, even at his request, because he has "become (her) brother" (though after he "revealed" he had destroyed her hard drive, she did it anyway (he actually hadn't)). Rudy also saves Lindesfarne from some cougars, and she returns the favor by helping him pass summer school by claiming to be the prey he was assigned to catch.

Role in the Strip[edit]

While Rudy is least often a major character in storylines, he changes the most over time. This is partly because many events force him to re-evaluate his views on certain aspects of life.

He initially dislikes herbivores, and is displeased to learn that his mother married one, that Corrie, his maternal cousin, was an herbivore masquerading as a carnivore, and that Bruno, his best friend, voluntarily changed to one. However, he subsequently accepts Bruno’s herbivorism, being willing to fight herbivore-hating coyotes over it, and is more accepting of Kevin than he was at the beginning.

His relationship with Fiona is also central to the strip. While he and Fiona are band partners, he first "meets" her under a full moon, a trick that she used in order to trigger his turning into a gentleman. Their relationship is cut short, however, by Fiona’s being forced to return to the Middle East, where her father works as a salesman. They begin communicating online, and Fiona offers to tutor the struggling Rudy. Rudy’s performance, however, does not sufficiently improve, and he turns to pheromones instead, upsetting Fiona when he stops responding to her e-mail. He fails the test because pheromones are banned, and he must rely on his still underdeveloped abilities. When Fiona returns, she and Rudy are only able to communicate electronically, until Rudy’s message to Santa overloads the Internet, forcing them to talk.

However, other events threaten their relationship’s stability Rudy meets and talks with someone named "Darkeyes" (Bruno’s girlfriend Corrie) online, and when Fiona, whom he stood up at the library, comes after him and finds out, he breaks off the relationship. When Fiona stays for the Summer Honors program, an extremely muscular student named Vin Vulpen hacks into the partner system to pair him with Fiona, thwarting Corrie’s attempt to pair Bruno with her (Rudy did not participate in the program, presumably due to not qualifying). Fiona learns of his using steroids when he exposes her to them, but too late; Rudy notices her with him, and runs off to the Wild. Before Kevin rescues him, he learns hunting skills, and eventually qualifies for the hunting team with Fiona as his mixed doubles partner. The two eventually form the "foursome" along with Bruno and Rhonda, who is eventually replaced by Rachel Einhorn after she first hunts solo for a scholarship, then graduates.

Rudy is eventually revealed as domesticated when Lindesfarne throws a stick to expose R.L.’s domestication; as Kell had the domestication gene, Lindesfarne presumably suspected that Rudy was domesticated as well. This revelation greatly distresses him, but Fiona appreciates his trust and loyalty. Their relationship is more stable from this point onwards, despite Rudy suspecting Fiona of being subject to others' attention after receiving money for fixing the Y2k bug, and his briefly resuming his relationship with Darkeyes when his domestication was temporarily cured. Rudy and Fiona also helped start Ralph and Martha’s relationship and eventual marriage; by feeding them romantic dialogue, they were "re-creating (their) relationship."

Rudy has recently become the Easter Bunny as a result of an accident; while filling in for Kevin, who had to help his business recover from the ceiling collapsing on the servers, he accidentally stumbled upon a sunrise service for Easter, and the entire carnivore congregation spotted him. While he escaped, photos of him were put online and he was mistaken for a rabbit. Rudy is initially upset, but soon learns that if he continues being the Easter Bunny, the Rabbit Council will give him a full scholarship to the university of his choice.

Comic Strips[edit]

Rudy is also a good artist, and produced two online comics. The first, "Humans" was based on characters that he believed to have come from Lindesfarne’s imagination. It featured counterparts of him and Fiona- "Rondo" and "Viola"- as the main characters, and "Lord Vulpenator" (based on Vin Vulpen) as a villain. However, when his comic was causing instinct loss in the summer of 2001, Catherine Aura returned to Caliban Academy as coach of the hunting team, and increased the practice hours to the point at which Rudy no longer had time for his comic. Rudy never realized the role his comic had in instinct loss; he abandoned it due to a lack of interest even after hunting season ended.

The next February, he, after a detailed thought process, thought up "Mad About Ewe", a comic based on a sheep who had the tendency to act like a wolf (unbeknownst to him, this was based on his cousin Corrie, whom he had, at the time, thought to be a wolf cub); Kevin and Lindesfarne thought this was due to poor characterization. As an indirect result of the comic strip, Corrie was exposed as a sheep; Fiona was upset at being excluded from the comic, and disguised herself as a sheep. On her way to Rudy’s house with Corrie, a cougar attacked, and Corrie’s "inner wolf" was triggered, causing her to eat it. She lost consciousness at some point and woke up in the hospital, and learned that her friends and family now knew her true species. Rudy rewrote his comic strip to feature Fiona, after realizing that now that he knew what inspired the strip, it was reporting rather than storytelling. The new version of the comic is apparently still being written. According to Lindesfarne's blog, he is still working on it at this point.


  • Rudy is claimed as twelve years of age for much of the early comic. However, he is later portrayed as fourteen, because Bill Holbrook believed that he was acting like someone of that age. This confusion is clarified in a brief series in October 2001, in which, on October 23, Kell explains that she had claimed Rudy as two years younger because he was small for his age; he is still one of the smaller characters.
  • Rudy has a safety pin in his tail in the early strips. However, it eventually was removed because readers could not tell what it was.
  • Rudy, according to the Unofficial FAQ, formerly had his father’s last name, Foxglove. However, after Randy’s death, Kell persuaded him to take the name Dewclaw.
  • While Rudy typically identifies himself as a wolf, he is half-fox; his father, Randy Foxglove was a fox. He, however, tends to be identified as a wolf, but thinks about being classified as half-fox when Corrie attempts to be classified as half-wolf, to honor his father (before he discovers Randy’s infidelity).
  • The Dewclaw family of wolves is supposedly descended from the Big Bad Wolf. When Rudy hears that his domestication is genetic, he surmises that the Big Bad Wolf was domesticated as well.
  • Rudy has dystracksia, which is similar to dyslexia, but he has trouble reading tracks instead of books.
Preceded by
Rhonda Panthera
Captain of Caliban Academy Hunting Team
Succeeded by
Current(with Fiona)
Preceded by
Kevin Dewclaw
Easter Bunny
Succeeded by

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Kevin and Kell by Bill Holbrook
Kevin · Kell · Lindesfarne · Rudy · Coney
See also